LispOS: LispEnv or Tunes?

Mike McDonald
Tue, 29 Apr 1997 23:10:51 -0700

>From: "Bill House" <>
>To: "Kelly Murray" <>
>Subject: Re: LispOS: LispEnv or Tunes? 
>Date: Tue, 29 Apr 1997 22:03:32 -0700
>Kelly Murray wrote:
>> If one believes JAVA is really going to "take over",
>> then the really smart developer will just join the bandwagon.
>> They don't need no stinken LISP!  They've got JAVA.
>> And don't tell me we can change the JVM to make it work great for Lisp.
>> If you believe that, you are crazier than I am.
>Pardon my saying so, but this seems somewhat sideways from what I'm thinking. 
>1. I don't believe anyone expects to change (or run on) the JVM. Instead, I'd
>like to borrow their approach to attaining Ubiquity (i.e. a browser-embeddable
>VM) and perhaps support real-time translation of their bytecodes into the
>native wordcode format of a Lisp VM (this as a non-core feature). That's very
>different from the Lisp-on-JVM approach.

  But "they" already have this turf staked out! No one is going to
modify their browser to include a Lisp VM when they already have a
Java VM. Even if you make a free plug-in available for the LVM, do you
really think anyone is going to download the monster? I don't!

>3. This web server SilkOS idea (cool name) seems to be just a LispM with HTTP
>support. It's not much different (if at all) from what you can already do today
>with existing Lisp products.  Unfortunately, all by itself, it has no ability
>to distribute processing to the client, or to support mobile agents between
>client and server (unless it serves up Java). Why not have it collaborate with
>a browser-embedded Lisp VM instead?

  Because no browser is going to be so enhanced! The way to make a
dent is to have a web server follow the established standards such as
HTML, CGI, JavaScript, and yes, even dynamicly generated Java. The
poor ignorant masses with their buggy browsers never have to know that
they're talking to a lisp system! They just know that this web site
does neat things. In the meantime, we can all make a nice living
writing lisp web apps in our nice lisp environment.

  Mike McDonald